Sketches of Yesterday

The Messenger, Baldwinsville, N.Y.

Issue of Thursday, Dec. 9, 1965

                            *** Picture ***

Build in 1815. Chester Molby built this home on E. Dead Creek Rd. in 1815, on land which he had purchased two years earlier. It has had many owners and occupants, and has been the location of several small businesses. This photo was made about 1880.

Early Dead Creek House by A. J. Christopher

When we pass an aged house in the city or country, we seldom stop to consider how old it might be, the many owners and occupants it has had or even reflect by imagination who were born, married or died there. Of course, we couldn't know of the good times and sad events people experienced in that place.

There is a house on the old E. Dead Creek Rd. which dates back to the time when frame buildings first superseded the log cabin construction. Some of its history was told one evening recently, on the premises by third generation descendants of the pioneer settler who located there early in 1800. Here I met the towering and stocky Harvey Walker, 83, and Mrs. Lincoln Kratzer, a little younger in age. The two, and Emma King of Downer St., are first cousins having direct relationship to the first inhabitants on this farm. The connection of these people has resulted through marriage in the Molby, Rouse and Harrington families, whose properties had a common boundary.

Chester Molby brought, on March 8, 1813, for $750, 139 acres from a William R. Fredenburgh, a Connecticut Revolutionary soldier. This land lay east of Camp Brook (Dead Creek) and west of Gabriel Tappan's farm, Tappan having located there a few years earlier. The region was then classified as being in Marcellus, later became part of Camillus, then in 1829, VanBuren.

The two natives of the Dead Creek region retold history brought down from the time of Chester Molby, as it was related to them by their parents and grandparents in past years. Mr. Walker, who spent his early years in this house, recalled many firsthand details of 77 years ago.

It was mentioned that the name Molby was changed in later years to Malby and also Maltby.

"Our great, great grandfather, Chester Molby," said Mr. Walker, "right away built a log cabin on this site. And we were told a log house stood a distance to the east and another to the west on this road. When the sawmill commenced business in Bangall, a few years later, the log houses were replaced with frame dwellings. The hewn frame in this building was probably pinned together in 1815 to 1820."

"Tell us about the old cemetery on this place." interjected Mrs. Messina, whose guests we were that evening. Mr. and Mrs. Messina are the present owners of the pioneer Maltby farm and operate Carm's greenhouses on the place.

Harvey Walker made reply, "The cemetery was just back of your greenhouse. Our ancestor, Chester Molby, and other members of the family were buried there. However, around 1890, the bodies were removed to Baldwinsville and the land plowed under, but I wouldn't be surprised if some unmarked graves remain. It was a neat burial ground, with box posts and picket fence."